Robin Vander Wall
Thank you for helping to contextualize what I meant by personality. And thank you for your support and understanding. From time to time, we have very strong disagreements and disputes at the board level of both NARSOL and Vivante. Feelings get hurt and there is a need for apologies. When passionate people come together for a common purpose, not everyone is going to see eye to eye. But, we believe that everyone can remain respectful and collegial. Common courtesy and kindness towards people who don’t share your perspective are touchstones of building consensus. A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus. That’s how Martin Luther King, Jr. put it. The folks you reference who speak badly about NARSOL all the time (and we’ve known that all along, of course), they’re just demonstrating that they have no capacity for leadership. They’re dividers, not “molder[s] of consensus.” Not surprisingly, when Dr. King was compelled to make his observations about leaders, he was speaking to and about individuals who spent an inordinate amount of time complaining and trying to tear down the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Perhaps we may some day have a leader in this movement who emulates the moral integrity of Dr. King and can help build bridges where others have constructed walls and fed fuel to the fires of gossip and disunity. We shall see.